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article imageSamsung Bixby Voice expands to over 200 countries

By James Walker     Aug 22, 2017 in Technology
Samsung has rolled out its Bixby digital assistant to over 200 countries across the world. The significant expansion implies Bixby is beginning to scale after a slow start. The assistant is still limited to just two languages though.
Bixby was meant to be one of the headline features of Samsung's Galaxy S8. The assistant's U.S. launch was encumbered by delays and setbacks though, causing it to eventually arrive months after the handset itself.
Today, Samsung announced Bixby's now available in over 200 countries worldwide. The list of supported regions includes the U.K., Australia, Canada and South Africa. Millions more Samsung smartphone owners can try out the digital assistant, offering an alternative to Google Assistant and other third-party apps.
Samsung said Bixby is more than a simple assistant app. Instead, it's an "intelligent interface" capable of deep linking into other apps while remaining context aware. The company's overall aim is to create a digital assistant able to handle all the tasks you'd ordinarily complete with touch.
Bixby can toggle settings, send messages, set reminders and show your notifications, all without you needing to touch your phone. It's also able to take photos, help you while driving and manage interactions with compatible external services.
"Now millions of customers worldwide have access to a new and intelligent way of interacting with their phone," said Injong Rhee, Executive Vice President at Samsung's mobile business. "The expansion of Bixby's voice capabilities is an initial step in the continued rollout of Bixby functionality. In the future, Bixby will have the learning power to offer more intelligent and personalized interactions and seamless connections across more devices."
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Samsung's got more work to do than just add features though. Even with today's expansion, Bixby's still restricted to just two languages. The assistant speaks U.S. English and Korean. Samsung hasn't said when more options can be expected.
The limited language support makes Bixby's wider global support less impressive. English-speaking regions should be able to use Bixby in U.S. English mode but it may struggle to interpret accents. People living in other countries will be left waiting for their own language to be added, even if the Bixby app is now available in the region.
With no word on when more languages will arrive, Bixby's still facing the same challenges it's had since its launch. Samsung said it "plans to continue" making Bixby a more versatile assistant. Additional countries, languages, features and devices will be added to the supported list over time.
More about Samsung, Bixby, bixby voice, digital assistant, Smartphones
 
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